If you’re looking to lose weight and reduce body fat, you need to do one thing: consume less calories than you burn per day. This is known as a caloric deficit. Sounds simple enough, right? Well…as we all know, sustainable and healthy weight loss is anything but. So the question then becomes, HOW do you achieve this magical caloric deficit without starving yourself and working out 12 hours a day?
All healthy diets contain the same three principles in order to achieve a caloric deficit:
1- A healthy diet pattern
2- Optimal protein intake
3- Match macronutrients to the individual
EATING FOR “REAL”
A healthy diet pattern means eating real food. This means food that’s grown naturally, not in a lab. A diet that is high in fiber includes all-natural foods such as fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, whole grains, lean meats and fish. These foods contain all the nutrients your body needs to function; plus they tend to keep you fuller longer, thereby reducing overeating. On the flip side, a diet high in processed foods that include added sugars, saturated fats, and excess sodium are all factors that lead to chronic health conditions like obesity, diabetes, or heart disease.
THE POWER OF PROTEIN
Optimal protein intake is necessary to maintain lean body mass while on a diet (helps you keep the muscle but lose the fat). Plus protein helps you feel fuller longer, thereby reducing overeating. As such, protein is a necessity for your body composition while promoting fat loss. Fun fact, protein does not always have to come from lean meats.